Japan - 416 One Yen 900 Coin

Discussion in 'World & Ancient Coins' started by jpstyle, May 17, 2011.

  1. jpstyle

    jpstyle New Member

    Stumbled upon an old one yen coin, while cleaning out my cabinets. Just wondering if this coin is legit and what the markings mean. My knowledge in coin collecting is very minimal. IMAG0007.jpg IMAG0008.jpg
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  3. SteveF

    SteveF Member

    this site explains the writing & the date - i can read some japanese & chinese but dont know enough about the coins to tell you if this is legit.
    http://www.lioncoins.com/nippon.htm

    if I did my math right that is 1904, year 37 of the meiji era. the reverse should be rotated 90 degrees clockwise - the crysanthemum (sp?) flower should go at the top and the characters below are 1 and then yen. I am sure those who know more about the actual coin will let you know more
  4. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    If it's real, it would be indeed a 1904.

    On edit: I'm 95% sure your coin is fake. The Chinese/Kanji characters don't look right (not sharp and defined enough), and neither do the Western numerals. The Roman alphabet lettering also seems to be too thick.
  5. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    Here's a real silver One Yen coin for comparison (1895)
    To me, the Roman alphabet lettering in your coin looks wrong (letters seem to be too thick and dull), and details appear to be mushy. Also, is the golden tone of your coin the real color, or is it the effect of the lighting?

    Attached Files:

  6. jpstyle

    jpstyle New Member


    the gold effect is because of the lighting. took the picture with my cell phone camera so quality is not that great. how would i go about finding out if this is real or not?
  7. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    The first thing to do would be to weigh the coin. The standard weight of a one yen silver coin from that era is 26.96 grams.

    Also, it would help if you could provide pictures of the coin in its actual color, and aligned up-and-down like my coin is.
  8. swish513

    swish513 edwardian penny collector

    another thing to do is a magnet test. if it sticks to a magnet, it's fake.
  9. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    Here's another silver One Yen coin for comparison (1912)

    Attached Files:

  10. jpstyle

    jpstyle New Member

    tried it. its a fake. haha.
  11. Tommygunz808

    Tommygunz808 New Member

    Hi collector1966 I have the same coin and my father got it from Japan as long as I could remember and I believe it's a 1880 coin just wondering what it's worth japanese coin 001.jpg japanese coin 002.jpg
  12. Tommygunz808

    Tommygunz808 New Member

    Japanese coin

    sorry I'm new at this I couldn't find what I had posted to you so I'll try again...I have the same coin my father had it as long as I could remember I believe it's a 1880 coin. I would like to know what it's worth. japanese coin 001.jpg japanese coin 002.jpg
  13. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    Welcome to the forum.

    It is better to start a new thread for a question than to resurrect an old one, but since you're here, let's talk about your coin.

    It is indeed dated Meiji 13, which does translate to 1880.

    The coin appears to be Y#A25.2 in the Standard Catalog of World Coins, which as stated on the coin itself is .900 silver. Mintage in 1880 was 5,247,432.

    The Japanese Numismatic Dealers Association catalog is the most accurate source I know of for valuation, and in the 2012 Edition it is listed at 15,000-160,000 yen (~$186-1,985). In U.S. grading terms, it probably has a touch too much rub for AU, so I would call it an XF. US values are slightly lower than Japanese values, so I would value your coin at $900+/-, if it is genuine.

    The details look pretty good, but I am a little concerned about the grainy appearance of the field, especially around the chrysanthemum at the top of the reverse. That could indicate a casting, which would mean it originated in a counterfeiter's lair, not the Japan Mint in Osaka where it should have. Considering that the volume of Chinese fakes of your coin greatly exceeds the volume of genuine examples, it would be a good idea to precisely weigh and measure it, and give it the magnet test. It should weigh 26.96g, have a diameter of exactly 38.6mm, and be non-magnetic.

    For Meiji era yen, measurement of the diameter is critical, since there were three slightly different diameters through the 40+ year life of the basic design, and the counterfeiters are not too picky about such details.
  14. Tommygunz808

    Tommygunz808 New Member

    thank you for repliying...It did pass the magnet test unfortunetly if I messured it right the diameter was 38.1mm and I'm not certain of my scale but it weighed 23.0g....so if the coin is a fake would there still be any value at all being that it is old? I'm bummed out
  15. NorthKorea

    NorthKorea Baseball Bat Collector

    The reason fakes usually have no value is associated with your question. There's no way to be certain of point or time of origin, since a counterfeiter can make more today, tomorrow, 20 years from now, etc. Counterfeits have no real value, and are illegal to sell.
  16. Tommygunz808

    Tommygunz808 New Member

    Thank you...
  17. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    Not necessarily so, on two counts.

    Many of us maintain "black cabinets" with the counterfeits we have picked up - deliberately or not - and sometimes they have significant value - for example the so-called Racketeer Nickles of 1883. (Look them up on Google.)

    Selling "replica" coins, as such and without intent to defraud, is completely legal, even the if they aren't marked as required for currently produced ones.
  18. Pau

    Pau New Member

    Hi all of you,

    Found this item by googling on the yen coin. When I was a kid my grandfather gave me a coin that resembles the one in this item. I can't read the year of the coin though. Maybe someone can? It passed the magnet test. I have no idea about the value. P1200122-002.jpg I tried to enclose a photo, 375 kb, maybe I should make it smaller?

    Attached Files:

  19. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    Once again, it is much better to start a new thread than to resurrect an old one when inquiring about a coin you own.

    Yours is dated Meiji 19 (1886). It is absolutely essential to accurately weigh and measure a heavily counterfeited coin such as yours, and to apply the magnet test as first steps in authenticating it.

    Is yours attracted to a magnet? If, so it's fake.

    Does yours weigh 26.96g? If not, it's fake.

    Does yours measure 38.6mm across? If not, it's fake.

    If it has passed those tests, it's time to compare the design elements and calligraphy to known genuine examples. Although the fields do not have the typically grainy appearance of cast copies, I am concerned with the faintness of the spiral on the pearl in the dragon's claws. Based on the degree of wear shown by the rest of the coin, it should be far more distinct. I absolutely wouldn't attribute your coin as genuine without a careful in-hand examination.

    Since it's introduction in Meiji 7 (1874), these coins have been counterfeited, so don't think that the age of yours reduces the chances that it may be a fake.
  20. Pau

    Pau New Member

    Thank you very much, Hontonai. Sorry about not starting a new thread, I'm new on this forum and I found already some useful information in this thread e.g. about the magnet test. My yen coin passed the magnet test, it isn't attracted to it. I measure more or less 38 mm. I need better measuring and weighing instruments, my weighing machine is for letters, on my machine it weighs more or less 25 g. Maybe it's better to go to an expert for weighing & measuring. I enclose a photo from the other side right now. P1200190-001.jpg As you see there are some scratches on this side. With kind regards, Pauline, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  21. Ripley

    Ripley Senior Member

    Another common 1895 (Year 28)
    [​IMG]

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